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UTECH Jamaica to house Caribbean Regional Procurement Centre

Posted in: Regional News by admin | 17 November 2016 | 3702

    Professionalisation of public sector procurement in the Caribbean region has led to continually increasing demand for a cadre of highly skilled procurement professionals.

    Stronger procurement knowledge is needed to fulfil economic, government and private sector goals in the region, while ensuring more efficient use of scarce public resources in a region still burdened with debt following the recession of a few years ago.

    The Centre will support development of transparent public procurement processes, which reflect the highest ethical standards.

    A procurement centre of excellence for the Caribbean is being built by a strong consortium of organisations.

    The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) has been selected to house a Caribbean Regional Procurement Centre, which aims to improve procurement practices across the Caribbean. Funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the World Bank (WB), the centre will provide high-quality training services accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

    UTech is developing the curriculum and training materials in partnership with a consortium led by BiP Solutions Limited (BiP) – a consultancy firm specialising in procurement – and CIPS, which offers globally recognised qualifications through its education and training programs. BiP is creating a tailored foundation course in public procurement best practice, which will reference local processes and procedures, providing procurement staff with essential knowledge to aid in the professionalization of government procurement. In conjunction with this, CIPS is supporting UTech to become an approved International CIPS Study Centre with the ability to deliver their internationally accredited procurement courses.

    Focusing initially on the training detailed above, the Regional Procurement Center will be further developed to provide a range of additional services including research, policy work, and advisory and consultancy services. Although the centre will initially focus on the public sector, the long-term aim is for it to serve both the public and private sector.

    The centre will partner with key organisations in the region, such as national governments, academic institutions and corporations to ensure training is tailored to the immediate needs of the region.

    Douglas Fraser Head of Procurement at the Caribbean Development Bank said: “Congratulations to UTech, Jamaica, for being selected after a very demanding process. I expect the project to achieve a transformation for the region in terms of public procurement and the development of a cadre of professionals to take public procurement to the next level.”

    “The World Bank is delighted to join with the Caribbean Development Bank in supporting the launch of the Caribbean Regional Procurement Centre. This initiative underlines the World Bank’s commitment to working collaboratively in building sustainable institutions in the Caribbean. We believe that, by establishing a strong cadre of professional public procurement officers within Caribbean governments, the centre will make an invaluable contribution to promoting the effective use of public funds and to the improved delivery of public services. The World Bank notes, with particular satisfaction, that the establishment of the Centre will provide public officials, for the first time, with an opportunity to earn internationally recognised professional qualifications in procurement, awarded locally by a Caribbean institution,” said Joao Veiga Malta, Practice Manager in the Governance Global Practice at the World Bank.

    Scott A Smith, Global Commercial Director at BiP Solutions Limited remarked: “We welcome the opportunity to support the development of the procurement center of excellence in the Caribbean region. The efforts to strengthen the procurement function in both the public and private sector will have a permanent home in the region.”

    John Pickford, Business Development Co-ordinator at CIPS commented: “CIPS has been working in the region for some time now, so I’m delighted that we now have a centre of excellence to support not only the development of current professionals and new professionals, but also to help public and private sector organisations in the region get the best out of their procurement.”

    Dr. Paul Golding, Dean, College of Business and Management at the University of Technology in Jamaica said, “Some 9-13% of GDP passes through public procurement in developing countries, so this raises public concerns related to management and mismanagement of funds, ethical issues and issues of corruption. These all increase the need for procurement to play more of a strategic position, rather than a peripheral one in organisations.  The launch of the Procurement Centre at UTech, Jamaica, is therefore an important step in moving this goal forward.”

    CDB has committed financing up to USD 137,875 and an estimated additional USD 45,895 in resources, such as staff time, to the project, which will be delivered under the Programme for Improved Public Investment Management through Sustainable Public Procurement Capacity Building in the Caribbean Region.  WB has committed USD 320,000 in grant funding.

    The centre is expected to be fully operational by late 2017.